Every summer my family camped in the Sierra, namely Twin Lakes outside of Bridgeport. My Grandparents loved to fish, while they fished I would go explore. My Grandparents also camped along the coast at a place called, Faria-think that is how it's spelled-again it was all about the fishing.
My parents always were camping and exploring all over, from the Salton Sea, Joshua Tree, Dana Point (keeping in mind none of these areas were developed yet.
One summer (it was the year for me between 4th and 5th grade) we drove all the way up to Alaska, north of Fairbanks as far as we could drive the camper. We literally went everywhere you could drive up there. We ended up driving onto and taking the ferry back to St. George. That was cool, we slept in the camper then spent the days looking at the amazing scenery.
There is so much more but I will spare you. It is no wonder I totally love camping and exploring and have one a ton of it on my own, independent, never needed a partner, just would set out on my own. There's a world of beauty out there and I've never understood people who just laze around and don't get out there!!!
Me and Mom. Yosemite Valley circa 1954. We would stay for weeks and months at a time...me, mom, Grandma Turner and my sister...along with assorted aunts, uncles and friends. My dad ran the Sherwin Williams paint store in Merced so he would come up on the weekends. We had the run of the place...just had to show up for dinner and the firefalls.
No, not in the conventional sense.
My old man toted a B.A.R. and a heavy pack up and down snow-covered hills during the Korean War. He swore he would never hike again. Claims he's a sociopath, says he was never happier than when he was killing gooks! What a bunch of BS! I kind of get what he means tho …
I do have one very crisp memory outdoor with pops: I was four years old and he took me on a short day hike in the brush at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains above Arcadia California … Showed me how to kick the sides of my feet into the off-camber dirt trail where it sloped down and away into the ravine. Slow and deliberate movement, self-reliance, route finding, balance, technique: it's all in there in that one experience!
He took me to the sports car races a lot and left me to my own devices: so I was outside at Riverside Internationa l Raceway, pedaling around on my Schwinn stingray out in the dirt under the hot sun, watching big bore sports cars battle it out … and not very far from Mt. Rubidoux in fact. That was kind of an outdoor experience on steroids.
But as kids we were outside all the time, what with it being a 60s and all. My boyhood pal and I grew up more or less as brothers at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. At 9 years of age we were doing long day hikes without supervision. By 13 we were teaching ourselves how to rock climb.
Hard to say if it's in our family blood to be ... outside.
If there's any link, it'd be traceable only as epigenetic.
Yosemite Valley, 1931, taken by my father's adoptive parents: